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US Coupon Enthusiasts Drive Up Redemption Rates

Coupon enthusiasts are the driving force behind exploding redemption rates, according to new findings from Homescan, a service of the Nielsen Company.

Eighty-one percent of the units purchased using manufacturer coupons came from just 19 percent of U.S. households during the twenty-six week period ended June 27, 2009.
 
The most avid users, called “coupon enthusiasts,” are households that purchased 104 or more items using manufacturers’ coupons. The 10 percent of shoppers that fall into this category accounted for 62 percent of manufacturers’ coupon units. They also accounted for 16 percent of total unit sales making them a very attractive and important consumer target.
 
Still, the recession is driving heavier coupon usage among all types of consumers as many lighter users have become heavier users. After three quarters of declines in 2008, coupon redemptions spiked 10 percent in Q4 2008, per Inmar. This was followed by a 17 percent increase in Q1 2009 and a 33 percent surge in Q2. This tally includes FSI’s, on-pack offers and Internet coupons but excludes retailer coupons.
 
Inmar also reported that more and more consumers are using coupons for both food and non-food items. In Q4 2008 non-food redemptions were -3 percent. However, in the second quarter of this year redemptions for non-food items were up 46 percent. Food coupon redemptions were +21 percent in Q4 2008 and increased 27 percent in the second quarter of 2009.
 
“Without question, coupon usage is undergoing a renaissance,” said Nielsen’s Todd Hale, senior vice president, consumer and shopping insights. “More consumers are looking for value and lower prices as retailers and manufacturers are distributing more coupons and making it easier for consumers to leverage technology to access coupons they want with less effort.” Overall, 1.6 billion coupons were redeemed in the first half of 2009.

“These findings from Nielsen suggest that the increased coupon usage we’ve seen this year not only helped consumers stretch their budgets but also provided meaningful sales impact to manufacturers and retailers,” said Inmar’s Matthew Tilley, director of marketing. “Coupons have always been an effective way to encourage trial and repeat purchase and are proving to be a bright spot in an otherwise dreary economic environment.”


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Source: Adweek.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=4742

Prospects remain bleak for South African growth

Amid signs the rest of the world may be recovering from the global financial crisis, Africa is still being hammered. South Africa's economy, the continent's largest, shrunk by another 3 percent in the second quarter, an omen that things may get even worse before they improve.

South Africa, among Africa's most diversified economies, had already seen a plunge in demand for the cars, machinery and other goods it produces.

Africa's larger economies are more directly affected by the crisis, but even smaller economies are feeling pinched, said Richard Mkandawire, an economist at the African Union's development agency.

On a continent where most people live in abject poverty, any downturn is magnified. Some African countries are seeing tourist dollars drop as foreigners cut back on exotic travel. In countries like Ghana, there is evidence expatriates working in the West are sending less money home, Mkandawire said.

Africa had at first been seen as isolated from the market and banking turmoil that engulfed Europe and the United States.

Thomas Gibian, whose Washington-based Emerging Capital Partners private equity firm focuses on investing across Africa, said in general there weren't the same kind of aggressive banks on the continent.

"You didn't have people buying homes with no money down," Gibian said. "You just didn't have that, for all kinds of reasons, good or bad, whether Africa was just too remote or too isolated and just hadn't developed in that way."

But an ensuing drop in Western consumer demand means Africans are selling fewer of the commodities on which many of their economies depend. In South Africa, manufacturing production dropped by 17 percent in June, and gold output in June was 12 percent lower this year than for the same period the previous year.

Former banker Maureen Dlamini, who has experience across Africa, said the global recession will result in lost ground in the fight against poverty on the continent.

A recent report on the continent's economic prospects predicted overall growth for 2009 would be 2.8 percent - less than half the 5.7 percent expected before the global downturn. The report, by the Paris-based Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development and the African Development Bank, said growth in South Africa would be just 1.1 percent, and that Angola's economy was expected to contract by 7.2 percent.

The picture is rosier in much of the rest of the world. In the US, the economy is still shaky, but the Federal Reserve has said the downturn may be "leveling out". Germany, Europe's biggest economy, has seen better than expected investor sentiment and other positive indicators. Japan has reached the end of a yearlong recession.

"Just as the impact of the recession on South Africa lagged somewhat behind the rest of the world's, it seems our recovery will lag too," South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said in a speech on Monday, even before the latest GDP figures were released.

On a street in Johannesburg on Tuesday, workers at a big box store were on strike for higher wages, demonstrating behind a sign that told management: "Stop complaining about the recession - it is hitting us."

Shop steward Emmanuel Ramara said the store cited the recession when resisting demands for higher wages. He said it takes courage to strike when every week seems to bring news of another company going out of business. At least a quarter of South Africa's work force is unemployed, and some experts say the figure could be as high as a third if those who have given up looking out of despair are counted.

"There's a need for urgency in South Africa's response" to the global crisis, the country's minister of economic development, Ebrahim Patel, told reporters last week. "We need to ensure that our industrial capacity is not destroyed by the recession."

South Africa's GDP has slid for three consecutive quarters, the first time that has happened in more than a decade. South Africa has long attracted workers from neighboring countries, and now they are sending less money home, Mkandawire said. Any cut is significant on a continent were many live on less than $2 a day.

"Enough money to buy a bag of fertilizer could make a huge difference to a family in Zambia or Malawi," the economist said.

The picture isn't all bleak. Moderate growth is expected in 2009 and 2010 in Ethiopia, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda - the fastest growing economies in East Africa in 2008.

Source:China Daily


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Source: People's Daily, China
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=4730

IRI Launches Brand Forecast Tool

US retail analytics giant Information Resources Inc (IRI) has launched a solution for consumer packaged goods (CPG) manufacturers and retailers, which enables them to predict the economic factors likely to impact brand or category growth over the next five years.

The new IRI Foresight tool analyzes the effects of macroeconomic activity on consumer spending – including factors such as inflation, interest rates, unemployment rates, property values and credit availability – to provide category-specific forecasts.

IRI has completed analyses on approximately 25 categories for both CPG firms on national brands and large retailers on private brands. The firm says this has already provided a broader perspective on the effects macroeconomic indicators have on their performance.

‘Consumer shopping behavior is increasingly being influenced by external factors like the economy,’ states Mark Anton, VP of Consumer Marketing Insights for L’Oréal Consumer Products Division. ‘The economy clearly has to be incorporated into our understanding of how these dynamics impact category trends, and IRI has worked with us to customize this analysis and ensure that it is consistent with how we manage the business.’

IRI is currently planning the launch of two further products, Total Store Advantage (TSA) and Total Store Advantage Wall Street Edition, which enable investors to view company and key competitor performance across categories, aisles and departments.

Earlier this week, the company acquired sister firm Hendry Corporation, which provides information on how consumers make purchase choices across a wide range of categories and industries.

Web site: www.infores.com .


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Source: Daily Research News Online
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=4723

Can Montreal Become the Ad World's Ideal Test Market?

The Association of Quebec Advertising Agencies has signed L'Oreal Canada to its experimental YUL-Lab project, a cooperative effort by Montreal's agencies to position the city as the ideal location to develop and test international marketing strategies.

MONTREAL: L'Oreal Canada is the first marketer signed on to the Association of Quebec Advertising Agencies' experimental YUL-Lab, a cooperative effort by Montreal's agencies to position the city as the ideal location to develop and test international marketing strategies.

 The agreement was announced at an event in Montreal on Tuesday night, where the new YUL-Lab moniker -- YUL being the three-letter airport code for Montreal -- was unveiled.

 The Quebec agency group also confirmed Tuesday night it would embark on a series of trade missions to cities within a two-hour flight of Montreal -- that would be the U.S. -- to sell new clients on YUL-Lab.

 The first, to Chicago Nov. 19-20, will be headed by Daniel Lamarre, CEO of Cirque du Soleil. New York and Philadephia will also be visited.

 Long in the works, YUL-Lab sees many of Montreal's agencies working together to attract American and other marketers to Montreal. Their pitch? According to Sebastien Faure, the association's chairman and president of Montreal agency BleuBlancRouge, Montreal is an ideal testing ground for marketers because its different cultural influences have produced advertising styles that would be considered groundbreaking in other markets.

And aside from the city's multilingual, multi-ethnic population, Montreal agencies also have the technical and new media expertise to help companies understand emerging platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

 "We truly believe Montreal could be the innovation center of global brand teams in the world," said Mr. Faure.

 "Consumers are in control so, basically, we need to learn how to talk to those consumers in the way they want now."

 Montreal is the perfect place to figure that out, he argues, because it has a large talent pool that mixes a "Latin spirit with American business sense."

 By selling Montreal as a global hot-spot of advertising experimentation and innovation, its agencies should eventually attract major new international clients.

 "L'Oreal often proves to be part of the avant-garde in promoting its products," said L'Oreal's director of communications, Anik Gagnon. "It was thus tempting for us to test these kinds of initiatives within a restricted market before launching them across Canada."

 She declined to name the product and the type of campaign YUL-Lab is working on and said YUL-Lab will be more valuable in terms of testing the mechanics of a campaign rather than in development of new creative.


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Source: Avertising Age (Marketingmag.ca)
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=4689

UK Services sector grows at fastest rate for a year

Activity in the UK’s service sector is growing at its fastest pace for more than a year, according to a closely-watched survey. The figures coincided with the publication on Wednesday of official data showing a rise in manufacturing output in June, providing a further sign of economic recovery. The CIPS/Markit Purchasing Managers’ survey showed that, having stalled in June, the service sector recovery resumed at the start of the third quarter.

[Estimated timeframe:Q3 2009-onward]

Manufacturing output rose by 0.4 per cent between May and June, according to the Office for National Statistics, which reported a significant increase in production in the transport and electrical sectors.

Analysts welcomed the data as more evidence that the recession is receding. Vicky Redwood of Capital Economics said: “The latest UK data on both services and manufacturing suggest that a decent recovery is continuing across the economy.

Howard Archer of IHS Global Insight, a consultancy, said: “The sharply improved services sector survey for July provide a very pleasant upside surprise and give a major boost to hopes that the economy will see a return to growth in the third quarter.” He warned, however, that some caution was advisable because of difficulty reconciling the survey reports with official data on the service sector output.

The pound rose to its highest level against the dollar since October on hopes the UK economy may have passed the worst. Sterling climbed as high as $1.7008 in morning trading and to £0.8477 against the euro.

The CIPS/Markit Purchasing Managers’ survey found that companies signalled a high degree of confidence that activity would increase over the coming year, although they also reported that a large amount of excess capacity persisted with further job losses occurring.

David Noble, chief executive at the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply, said: “The services sector is rebounding at an unprecedented rate after what has arguably been the most savage economic downturn since the end of World War II.

“After hitting an all time low in November, July saw the sector make marked gains with new business activity rising for the third month running and at the sharpest rate in almost a year-and-a-half. Increasing levels of referrals, more marketing and higher levels of new business have helped.”

Manufacturing output rose by 0.4 per cent between May and June, the Office for National Statistics said on Wednesday. The biggest increases came from transport equipment, which rose 4.1 per cent, and electrical and optical equipment, which rose 2.5 per cent. Chemicals and man-made fibre industries fared the worse, with a 3.6 per cent fall in output.

Economists had predicted a 0.1 per cent drop, according to the median of 25 forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey.

In the second quarter, output fell by 0.6 per cent compared with the previous quarter and was 11.8 per cent lower than the same quarter a year earlier.

The Bank of England will decide on Thursday whether to expand its programme of quantitative easing, as policymakers assess if the economy has received enough stimulus to entrench a recovery.


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Source: FT.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=4611

IPA Bellwether report reveals optimism in online display advertising

Online display advertising is no longer search’s “poor second cousin”, according to industry experts following the release of this week’s quarterly IPA Bellwether report. The latest report revealed web marketing budgets were revised down by 7.9% through Q2 this year, but this was an improvement on Q1’s figure of 10%, revealing growing optimism in the market.

[Estimated timeframe:Q3 2009-onward]

While the downward revision of overall marketing budgets was their seventh quarterly decline in a row, it has also improved in comparison with Q1, from 34.4% to 28%.

However, despite internet spend’s overall improvement, search budgets have been hit harder over the period, from a 2.4% reduction in Q1 to 5.4%.

Marketers have said the report, compiled by Markit, accurately represents an industry that has renewed faith in online display advertising, but one that has underlying questions about paid search’s continued efficiency.

Matt Simpson, IPA Digital Group chair, said the recession has meant marketers have been working harder than ever to interpret the relative values of each aspect of their marketing, as well as their effects on each other. “There’s a greater understanding of how everything works together, how display affects the rest of the mix,” he said. “There’s a far greater requirement for legitimate accountability.”

Ben Wood, MD of media agency Diffiniti added, “Overall it’s good to see display media fight back. For a long time it’s been seen as a poor second cousin to search, but more than ever we can show its value.”

Patrick Muir, head of marketing at Egg, which this week launched an affiliate campaign with Commission Junction, said, “It’s about which channels bring in the right user, rather than the shock and awe tactics that once occurred by spending lots of money in one place.”

Last month the IPA released its second quarterly search trend report, which showed click costs increasing and click-through rates decreasing for core brand terms, bringing the continued efficiency of search into question.

Simpson said, “While [the IPA Search Report] is a real top line for what’s happening in search, the Bellwether shows that there’s a reassessment of how important online display is.”

Norm Johnston, global digital leader at Mindshare Worldwide, said that although paid search is far from dead, the relative value of it has been readdressed. “Natural search results still represent the majority of real estate and clicks on a results page, and brands are recognising that now by investing far more than ever in search optimisation,” he said.


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Source: NMA.co.uk
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=4502

US Researchers’ Confidence Falls Again

The MRA’s Research Industry Index (RII), which measures the outlook of US research professionals, has seen its fifth consecutive quarterly drop, to a composite score of 84; however, CEO Larry Brownell suggests the trend may be ‘bottoming out’.

The overall RII fell to 84 from 87 in the fourth quarter of 2008, and is indexed on a score of 100 for the fourth quarter of 2007. The overall figure is a composite score based on reported changes in key business metrics (RFPs, projects and staffing levels), as well as changes in business owners’ perceptions of the health of their business. This quarter’s drop was fuelled by average decreases of 7-8% in staffing levels, booked revenue and RFPs/Proposals.

Says Brownell: ‘Staffing level decreases had lagged behind revenue decreases in previous quarters. But this quarter, they were highly correlated. It appears that much of the industry waited until 2009 to reduce staffing.’ He adds that traditionally, industry downsizing has occurred toward the end of low purchasing periods, implying that the latest change may signal a bottoming out of downward trends.

The latest round saw the participation of a record number of MR professionals, 211 – previously the base has averaged around 150 per quarter. Survey participants receive a detailed report on the findings.

Respondents include end users (clients), full service firms, field services and panel companies and interviewing is conducted online via a survey hosted by Authentic Response. Reporting was completed by Cooper Roberts Research.

MRA (the Marketing Research Association) is online at www.mra-net.org .

 


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Source: MR.web
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=4106

Kids' Virtual Worlds Gain Traction in US

While virtual worlds like Second Life still represent a fringe activity in the general market, more than half of the kids who use the Internet will be regular visitors to virtual worlds in just four years, predicts researcher eMarketer.

[Estimated timeframe:2009-2013]

Virtual worlds -- game-like Web environments where users can create avatars in a fantasy landscape and interact with other users -- have become particularly popular among young children. Currently, eMarketer estimates that there are 6 million kids age 3-11 who visit virtual worlds at least once a month, representing 37 percent of that Web demographic. By 2012, there will be 8.7 million kids 3-11 using virtual worlds -- or 50 percent of the entire kids´ online universe.

Teens are also fans of virtual worlds, though the penetration numbers are lower. In its new report, "Kids and Teens: Growing Up Virtual," eMarketer estimates that 3.7 million kids 12-17 log on to virtual worlds each month. That represents 18 percent of the teen Web population. By 2013, a quarter of the teen demo will be regulars in virtual worlds vs. 54 percent of the 3-11 group.

According to the report, the adult market has yet to gravitate to the virtual world segment in meaningful numbers. Therefore, potential virtual businesses have focused on the youth market. eMarketer cited a report by Virtual Worlds Management reporting that as of January, there were 112 virtual worlds aimed at the under-18 crowd live on the Web. Another 81 were said to be in development.

However, advertising is nascent in this space (most kids worlds rely on microtransactions for revenue). And given the current economy, many analysts predict a shakeout

That’s also the assessment of eMarketer analyst Debra Aho Williamson, who authored the report. “The rate of development in virtual worlds targeted to the youth audience will slow as economic pressures mean less money for venture capital and for advertising to support new worlds,” she said. “But there is no denying that creating avatars and exploring virtual worlds are growing activities for many children and teens.”


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Source: Adweek.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=4104

UK Firm Unveils ‘Instant’ Retail Data Analytics
UK Firm Unveils ‘Instant’ Retail Data Analytics In the UK, consumer, shopper and market insights specialist Information Resources Inc (IRI) has rolled out a system which enables almost instant data flow from in-store EPOS (electronic point of sale) devices, to IRI’s databases and analytics systems. The ‘Liquid Modelling’ solution is designed for retailers and manufacturers who ......

UK Firm Unveils ‘Instant’ Retail Data Analytics

In the UK, consumer, shopper and market insights specialist Information Resources Inc (IRI) has rolled out a system which enables almost instant data flow from in-store EPOS (electronic point of sale) devices, to IRI’s databases and analytics systems.

The ‘Liquid Modelling’ solution is designed for retailers and manufacturers who need actionable insight very quickly, and across a broader range of brands and categories.

Prior to the launch, IRI says in-store data required up to six weeks to be manually extracted, whereas now, the task takes just 24 to 36 hours.

Executive Director Hans Jessen says that the solution provides a ‘holistic picture’ of the market, to help clients understand how best to manage their pricing and promotion: ‘The industry is desperately looking for ways to accurately monitor behaviours in order to achieve the most profitable outcomes. Liquid Modelling replaces previous analysis of emotional decisions with ones of hard core scientific insight.’

Web site: www.infores.co.uk .


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Source:
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=4431



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